This has been the best episode of the second season thus far, topping episode 4, especially now that Norman’s tenuous grip on reality is slowly dissolving, getting us nearer to the Norman Bates we’re familiar with. Dylan is now involved with Zane’s sister (played by the lovely Kathleen Robertson), who wants him to look after the business and Zane, but not to make it obvious. She tells Dylan it’ll be an easy task, but I have my doubts. Zane is completely crazy, and he’ll do whatever he likes, whenever he likes, to whomever he likes, no matter what Dylan says.
We knew Cody would be nothing but trouble for our hero eventually, but I wonder just how much was planned and calculated by Cody, because I’m pretty sure she knew exactly what she was doing when she told Emma about Norman’s blackouts. At first it looked like a simple case of revenge on Emma after Norman blew up at Cody for talking Emma into jumping in the water, so that Norman would have a falling out with Emma. It might be a bit more twisted on Cody’s part, once she realised Norman was crazy, and just maybe she spotted a way to get rid of her abusive father. It’s a longshot but it also explains Cody hanging around unfazed by Norman’s behaviour.
Norma tries to break off any sort of involvement with the dangerous Nick Ford but it’s clearly not going to be that easy. When she spoke to Ford and told him she could take things from here, on her own, he didn’t really threaten her, but you could see she was very intimidated, which was warning enough. She and Romero had a ‘moment’ last episode, and that was when he warned Norma about Ford being someone to watch out for, and when Norma asks Romero for tips about seeing the Mayor for the council position, he tells her about being able to see through her curtains. Norma didn’t look too upset about this, in fact, I got the feeling she was about to smile as the shot ended. I still think there’s a good chance of the pair finally getting intimate.
Christine makes a brief appearance, as does her brother, George, and he’s still interested in Norma but is only there to help her with the council position. Later, when Norma is about to go meet the Mayor, she tells Norman about the advice George gave her. Norman picks up Norma’s scarf and starts twisting it in his hands while Norma is telling him what was said, and all the while he looked as though he could’ve strangled her. Norman will kill her eventually but not just yet. Vera Farmiga is one of the producers so I’m sure she wants to be in the show for as long as possible.
Norma is starting to embarrass Norman more and more, especially where Cody is concerned, but seeing her well-behaved son fool around with a girl like that must be driving her crazy. After explaining to Cody, quite reasonably, that it wasn’t wise for Norman to drink, Cody takes Norman to her house to grab a bottle of hooch. She knows full well Norman doesn’t care if he drinks or not, and that’s part of the reason I think Cody knows exactly what she’s doing. Seeing Norman get embarrassed when Emma and Gunner catch him making out with Cody, sort of implies he does have feelings for her, and maybe he and Emma will end up together, which would please Norma as Norma knows the girl doesn’t have long to live.
The scene where Cody and Norman run into the closet to hide from her dad was interesting, and was the first big flip he’d had of the episode. He flashed to when he was very young and was hiding with his mother from someone, who I guess to have been his abusive father. I thought Norman was going to do something crazy, like strangle Cody or kill her father if he opened the closet. Instead, we got to see Norman go crazy at Cody because of Emma almost drowning, then at the close of the episode he finds out it was thanks to Cody he’ll have to wait a few more years before he can get a license. At this point it isn’t clear if Jimmy Brennan is dead or just hurt but we do know Norman ends up at the police station. There’s also a bit on the trailer (which is attached to the review) where we see Norma saying in a chilling voice, “how are you Cody?” Does this mean Norma is about to do something to Cody? She’s now got “connections” who can break a leg or whatever, and scare Cody away.
TV Review by Lead Entertainment Writer, Ed Blackadder